Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday Started With a Bang!

We went with some friends of ours to the top of Burn's Wark, a large hill near our village with a sweeping view of the Solway Firth. It was the perfect place to watch the four towers at Chapelcross Nuclear Power Station fall in a controlled explosion.

As I mentioned before, this power station is in the process of being decommissioned. The plant stopped producing power in 2004. I guess I never noticed until they mentioned it that the big cooling towers never steamed anymore.

It has been broadcast on the news, both radio and telly about the planned controlled explosion. There have been articles in all the local newspapers and stacks of information sheets in the local library and council offices. If you live in the area and didn't know these towers were going down, you just weren't paying attention.

There is even a dedicated website.

The towers had been scheduled to come down at 9 am. We got to the top of our hill at 8:30 just so we wouldn't be late. I'm glad we gave ourselves plenty of time because somebody was moving their cows. The faithful border collie was helping to hurry the cows along by nipping at the hooves of the slowest cows.Here is our happy band. Antony (with baby Dominic on his back) Helen , George and Rory (with camera). Henry is standing behind me trying to block the considerable wind that was blowing.

Here are the last moments of the towers.

It's a beautiful and easy hill to walk up. The Romans, when they were here used to use this hill for training purposes. On the way up you can see the lumps where they had practice ramparts to scale and the areas where the trebuche were placed.

Then, in a flash and EXACTLY at 9 am, the towers came down. From our vantage point, the only thing we could hear was wind. Thirty seconds after we had seen the last tower come down, we heard the four booms. The children were amazed that the sound took so long to travel to us. A quick demonstration about the speed of sound is always educational.

I have embedded the few seconds of my own footage here on the blog. The reason there is just a few seconds of footage is that my dog, Polly was terribly badly behaved. She was pulling on her lead to go and play with all the other dogs that had come with their owners. She lunged just when I was taking a shot of the towers coming down and the footage was cut short. Just as well, I don't think you guys wanted to hear me swearing at my dog.

Then the towers were gone. Even in this blurry picture one can see the dust from the explosions (which is probably NOT filled with radioactive particles) floating across the landscape.

Then it was all back to our house for a big brunch. Waffles, croissants, good coffee, strawberries & cream etc. . . .


Jay said...

So very cool. I would love to have seen that. And the landscape around there is just beautiful.

Eryn said...

What a fun outing! And you've made me crave croissants too. Yummy.

J-Funk said...

What a party! That sounds like a great excuse for an outing and a big warm breakfast.

Peggy said...

Jay - You should visit sometime

Eryn - It was really fun

J-Funk - We only need the thinnest of excuses to have a party!

Jeanette said...

Hi Peggy, you all look so cold out there. Ithink I would have stayed inside and watched it on the telly.

Claude said...

Amazing! Thanks for sharing